“A lot of people talk about giving voice to the voiceless; Beauty Turner lived it everyday.”
With these words, a little more than four years ago, I responded to friend and colleague Fernando Diaz’s challenge and began the first post of this blog.
Tonight’s entry is my thousandth.
We’ve covered a lot of ground together.
In the past four years I’ve reviewed hundreds of books.
I’ve reflected on major events like President Obama’s inauguration and the Newtown shootings.
I’ve posted about milestones like Aidan’s getting his driver’s license, my brother Mike getting married, and Dunreith and me celebrating our 10th anniversary.
I’ve shared about finishing two books, switching from doing investigative work on race and poverty issues at The Chicago Reporter to being a database and investigative editor at Hoy, and serving an unexpected two-year stint as president of the Dart Society.
I’ve related experiences we’ve head on a family trip to Israel, participating in the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma in Orvieto, Italy, covering COP17, the climate change conference in Durban, South Africa, taking an emotional return journey to Dad’s hometown in Germany for the first time he had returned since 1939, and presenting at the Engaging the Other conference in Bloemfontein, South Africa earlier this month.
In short, it’s been an enormously rich period with a wide array of choices.
Not all of them have been joyful.
I’ve written quite a few obituaries since my tribute to Beauty.
Both of Dunreith’s parents, my beloved in-laws Marty and Helen Kelly, are no longer with us. Neither is my stepmother Diane Lowenstein, Mom’s cousin Gary Adelman and dear friend Bill Buchanan, to name just a few of the others.
The focus of the blog has evolved from its original look at books to a more personal space of reflection-as many of you know, this year’s theme has been sources of joy-and it’s been an important space for me throughout for many reasons.
It’s been a chronicle of events large and small, private and public.
It’s been a place where I’ve experimented with writing and become more comfortable with my own voice.
On a basic level, it’s been a place to help me shape the life I want to live and to have lived.
Above all, it’s been a community.
You have all been central to it.
I’m grateful to all of you for your support, your comments and your participation in what we have built together.
I wish all of you a Happy and Healthy new year.
Thank you very much for reading whatever portion of the first 1,000 posts you’ve made it through.
A new year and more writing starts tomorrow.
I’ll be there.